It’s a feeling that I first noticed when she was a college student – the intense pressure to get everything done but
During her time at Duke University, Peterson learned of a term that captured her sense: “effortless perfection,” a phrase used by Duke University students that attracted national attention after it was cited in Duke Women’s Initiative Report 2003.
The report, commissioned by former Grand Duke Nannerl O. Cohan, aims to understand and improve the women’s campus culture. The results indicated a social environment with unreasonable expectations for women: “that women be intelligent, accomplished, fit, beautiful, and popular, and that all of this would happen without apparent effort.”
“Effortless perfection is definitely not just a duke thing; it strikes college students in any high intensity/high expectation environment,” Peterson writes in her book,
Peterson argues that the resulting effect on young women is not just superficial. Through her research and interviews with writers, she shows what the idea of
“I really want
In her book – with advice drawn from her experience but applicable to contemporary times with examples from social media and
Define counter narratives
“The first step in responding to the dominant narrative of seamless perfection on college campuses is to identify counter-narratives,” Peterson wrote.
Counter-narratives show honesty over pretense. In her book, Peterson discusses #Halfthestory Instagram campaignStarted by Vanderbilt student Larissa May, individuals share experiences beyond what is considered a regulated norm on social media.
Peterson says factual stories can help others realize that they are not alone in their struggle and easily identify unreasonable standards (see Peterson’s chapter, “Is There Any Right Way for a Woman to Be Assertive?”).
“It’s an idea,
Learn positive ways to motivate you
Failure stings but avoiding it doesn’t have to be all-consuming. Peterson advises that you are drawn to your feelings and not cause fear or anxiety.
“I think what’s really important for college students and people with these kinds of stresses is to ask themselves, ‘Where do my motivation come from?'” Peterson says. “
During her book interviews, she asked Peterson about her peers
“When they had this experience, she was completely exhausted,” Peterson says. “He. She
Never base your sense of identity on failure, Peterson says. “I get it, because I did it
Find a place to believe
For Peterson, finding other students who could be the same around her made all the difference,
Students can also benefit from access to mental health professionals.
“There are resources available to you on the Duke campus,” Peterson says. “When I had my first anxiety attack, I myself walked up to it caps. “
Peterson says it’s important to take the time to acknowledge how you feel.
Diary and meditate and ask someone to check in,
Learn more aboutThe myth of effortless perfection. “
Fall 2022 Health and Resilience Series by Duke Counselling and Psychological Services (CAPS)
Duke Gender Violence Intervention Services
For confidential treatment services and clinical case management needed due to violence, students may attend/call *CAPS MT 9-6 and WF 9-4. Students may also contact the coordinator directly, GVICoordinator@duke.edu or 984-569-0592.
Students seeking after-hours services have three options for support:
- CONFIDENTIAL SUPPORT: Leave a voice mail to the GVI Coordinator (984-569-0592) or email GVICoordinator@duke.edu. Students will be contacted within 24 hours or less if necessary.
Non-confidential support and reporting through Dean On-Call 984-287-0300 or DUPD 919-684-2444. (A request for support from a non-confidential resource will result in communication from Duke University.)
Students can also access local resources through Durham Crisis Response Center. Students can also use the helpline at 919-403-6562.
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